How many times can you remember someone deciding they had to share some juicy tidbit about someone else? Probably more times then you would like. Although I suspect every one of us is guilty to some degree, it does seem that some people have more of a predilection for sharing the news, however uncertain it may be. I have heard my share of gossip over the years and always try to remind myself to ‘consider the source’. And of course,question whether it passes the smell test. By that I mean is it true, is it positive, and is it useful. If any or all three don’t pass muster, then there is no real reason to perpetuate the story and no real reason to listen to it. This puts me in mind of a story that I will share with you to illustrate my point.
In ancient Greece Socrates was known for his wisdom. One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said “do you know what I just heard about Digenesis?”
“Before your start” Socrates said, “let me ask you if what you are about to relate is the truth”.
“I don’t know” the friend said. “I just heard it myself”.
“So you don’t really know if it is true. Is the news positive?”
“No the man said. On the contrary. It is not good.”
Again Socrates said “So you wish to tell me something that is bad and may not be true. Is it however in some way useful to me?”
“Not really” the man said. I just thought you would like to know”.
“Well, if it is possibly not true or positive or useful to me, why tell me at all?”
The man was bewildered, but after some thought agreed, and walked away.
And that is why Socrates was such a great philosopher and was held in such high esteem.
P.S. It is probably also the reason that he never found out that Digenesis was boinking his wife. Just sayin.